Saturday, January 3, 2009

Practically predictable in every way

Following the Stags' six-point loss to Siena at the Times-Union Center on New Year's Day, head coach Ed Cooley left nothing to the imagination:

"I thought defensively we played like (expletive)," Cooley said. "We were just terrible defensively. I couldn't believe I was coaching that game. (Shoot), somebody should've kicked me in the (behind)."

I've always felt that Cooley has had the unique ability of being able to "push the players' buttons" at the right time. Despite the fact that the Stags probably should have blown Fordham or Drexel out of the water, Cooley was calm, cool, and relaxed at the post-game. Why? It was a game Fairfield should have won. And they did.

This time around, though, despite Warren Edney's bad Achilles' tendon and Jon Han's incessant foul trouble, Cooley made it known that Fairfield's effort was subpar from start to finish. I couldn't help but notice that his harsh words came after a game that, while "winable," is certainly one that no one should have penciled in as a Stags win beforehand.

On the road, against the defending conference champions, in front of a large crowd on New Year's Day? Siena is supposed to win those games, not Fairfield.

Perhaps it was Ed's way of saying that this team has been far too predictable, for better or for words. Every winable game - and I'm including the team's early-season road win over Holy Cross, Alumni Hall W over American, and the team's win over Chattanooga in Puerto Rico as a winable games - has gone in favor of the Stags.

Conversely, every game Fairfield should have lost, it either fumbled away in the game's final minutes (see: Siena) or been blown out of the water (see: Memphis, UConn, Va. Tech, Missouri).

Cooley, in my opinion, was sending a message: if Fairfield can't win those type of games, the games in which their backs are against the wall heading in, then maybe this team is not ready to compete for a conference title after all.

No comments: